George Orwell (25th June 1903 – 21st January 1950) was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and social commentator. His works deal with themes of social injustice, totalitarianism and he was an outspoken supporter of democratic socialism.
Much of his work centred around politics and his influence so great he gave us the word ‘Orwellian’ to describe something totalitarian or overly authoritarian, and many of his neologisms such as Cold War, Big Brother, Room 101, Memory Hole, Thought Police and others are part of every day language today.
Today we’re concentrating on Orwell’s thoughts on Power and Politics and we’ve chosen quotes that aren’t necessarily so well known from his novels, but also from the many essays and news pieces he authored too.
“In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.”
“War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.”
“In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
“The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.”
“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”
“Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen.”
“In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer…”
“The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.”
“All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.”
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”
In her own words:
It was devastating. I tried everything to get out of my funk, but nothing was working!
“Then one day, I took my car in for new tires at Tires Tires Tires and magically blasted out like 5,000 words in their fabulous waiting room. It was incredible. And the scenery wasn’t bad either! Complimentary coffee that was actually delicious, comfortable seating, free cookies, friendly staff.
I had found my mother ship!”
Roth’s work, influenced by the likes of John Updike, William Faulkner and Franz Kafka, is mainly semi-autobiographical and set in his birthplace, Newark, New Jersey.
One of the most awarded novelists of his generation, Roth won the Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for his novel American Pastoral (US – UK). This has since been made in to a film starring Ewan McGregor, Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning, joining the list of seven of his other works that have also been adapted for the big screen. Read More
Caryl Phillips was born on the Caribbean Island of St Kitts on 13th March 1958, 4 months later he moved to England with his parents who settled in Leeds.
Phillips read English at Queen’s College Oxford, during which time he directed plays and spent his summers working at The Edinburgh Festival. When he graduated in 1979 he moved to Edinburgh where he wrote his first play “Strange Fruit”. Read More
A literary iconoclast during his lifetime, Kerouac’s popularity only grew with his premature death and his books are as popular today as they always were, maybe more so considering the number of his works published posthumously. Read More
The American crime novelist wrote pulp detective fiction often featuring his detective character, Mike Hammer. The books were, and still are, very popular having sold more than 225 million copies internationally. Critics fought against some of the more sexually explicit and violet aspects of his books but Spillane knew what his fans liked, and more importantly to him, what they liked to pay for.
He died in South Carolina, US on the 17th of July in 2006, and his ashes were scattered in a creek near his home there.